github twitter linkedin instagram email
Field Report: First Portrait Shoot
Dec 14, 2019
4 minutes read

Since I started learning about mobile photography, the bulk of my work has been in nature and street photography. But portrait photography is something I want to get into more as I had develop an interest in that particular genre of photography.

To this end, I decided it would be a good idea to schedule regular portrait shoots with friends. The obvious benefit for me was that I get opportunities to try out different ideas and learn the art of portraiture while building a portfolio in the process. On the other hand, my subjects would get some nice images of themselves, and also a few prints off my Selphy printer.

I was thrilled when Nifemi agreed to be the subject for my first portrait shoot. We picked a Sunday evening for the shoot around 5pm targeting that golden hour light which I read is great for portraits.


Duration: 45 minutes

Location: University of Ilorin, Dam area

Images produced: 219

Keepers: 12


The main concept I had in mind for the shoot was to have everyday look against a natural backdrop. Before the shoot, I catalogued a few portrait ideas from Youtube so I don’t go in without a clue of what poses to try.

My goal was to produce 10-15 images that I could use to start building a portfolio.

Main event

By the time we got to the set location, the sun was already low in the sky and the light was quite favourable for the effects I wanted. We spotted some bushes nearby filled with cosmos flowers, so we went there and started shooting.

Nifemi 1

I asked her to move into the bushes a little bit so I could get a few shots with her surrounded by the flowers.

Nifemi 2

In the middle of this, we were having a conversation about past experiences during which I captured this moment.

Nifemi 3

After exhausting ideas near the bushes, we moved over to my car where I wanted to try out a pose I first saw on VSCO. It involved leaning on the car at an angle and using the reflection of the face against the windshield. We tried a few different positions here, but I got the angle wrong for the most part.

Nifemi 4

Next, we went over to some trees nearby and tried a bunch of different poses.

Nifemi 5

Nifemi 6

Nifemi 7

I learnt on a Mango Street video, that twisting the body to form a sort of “S” shape can potentially make a subject more interesting so I tried to get her to pose in that manner.

Nifemi 8

After moving on from here, we tried a couple more ideas in other spots most of which didn’t come off. As it was already getting dark and we both had other places to be, we decided to wrap up the shoot and leave.


Once I reviewed the images, I discovered that I shot 219 photos in total. I made three passes at culling the images. The first pass was all about discarding those ideas that didn’t come off, poorly exposed shots and duplicates, while the second was about really critiquing each photo to keep only the best shots that I could deliver as products of the shoot. I ended up with 77 images after the first pass and 34 after the second. Finally, I selected 12 of the 34 as portfolio worthy.


I edited all the photos with Lightroom mobile. For the most part, all I did was to adjust the exposure slightly, boost the contrast and add a little vingetting where I felt it was needed. I also cropped in a bit on almost all the images and sharpened some photos that were a little out of focus.


I’m happy with the way this shoot turned out, and I am confident to say I would continue to schedule more shoots going forward so as to get more practice and get better at portraiture.

To learn more about the art of portrait photography, I picked up People Pictures which I’ll dive into in the coming week.

Thanks for reading!

Back to posts

comments powered by Disqus